Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ibraco CEO raises his stake

Chew Chiaw Han is fourth largest shareholder in firm
KUCHING: Ibraco Bhd chief executive officer Chew Chiaw Han has increased his stake in the Sarawak-based property developer by more than 3% to 14.2% after acquiring an additional 3.1mil shares in the open market since last month.
Most of Chew's shareholdings are held by his private firm, Hiap Ghee Seng Sdn Bhd.
He is the fourth largest shareholder of Ibraco, a Practice Note 17 (PN17) company. The single largest shareholder Sharifah Deborah Sophia Ibrahim has a 21.7% stake, followed by executive director Datuk Wee Song Ching (20.08%) and Singaporean Ng Cheng Chuan (16.6%). Ibraco has a paid-up capital of about RM100mil.
Chiew Chiaw Han hopes the the company’s PN17 status will be lifted soon.
Ibraco, which is undertaking its biggest-ever commercial, industrial and residential project known as Tabuan Tranquility along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway, posted a pre-tax profit of RM3.87mil on a turnover of RM19.4mil for the last quarter ended March 31.
In Q4-2010, it registered a pre-tax profit of RM12.89mil on revenue of RM27.4mil.
After reporting profits for two consecutive quarters, Ibraco was looking forward to the lifting of the PN17 status, hopefully by next month, Chew said.
“We are submitting our request to the authorities concerned to have the PN17 status lifted,” Chew told StarBiz yesterday.
Ibraco was classified a PN17 company after its revenue for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2009 fell below 5% of its paid-up capital. However, it has completed its regularisation scheme, pre-requisite to exit the PN17 in December last year.
Chew said Ibraco had sold RM168.3mil worth of properties in Tabuan Tranquility.
“The sales comprise of RM84mil worth of commercial units (phase I) and RM84.3mil worth of residential homes (phase 5),” he added.
The project, which has a gross development value of RM517mil, is planned for five-phase development up to 2015.
The 76 units of shophouses that would make up the proposed commercial mall in the project are priced between RM1mil and RM1.79mil. The mall is expected to be completed in three months.
Phase 5 residential development comprises 204 terraced houses and 38 semi-detached houses priced between RM363,000 and RM800,000. The houses are expected to be ready by November, 2012.
Ibraco, which has built more than 10,000 properties over the years has a landbank of about 285ha in Sarawak with more than 50% of the land in Kuching.

WASEONG - ECM Libra Research maintains Buy on Wah Seong, TP RM2.70

Stock Name: WASEONG
Research House: ECMLIBRA

KUALA LUMPUR: ECM Libra Investment Research is maintaining its BUY call on Wah Seong, identifying the stock as one of the laggards in the O&G sector at the moment.

'We peg Wah Seong's FY11 EPS to their +1 standard deviation PE of 19 times to derive our target price of RM2.70,' it said on Wednesday, April 27.

The research house said Wah Seong has been quiet on the news flow front so far and it viewed this announcement as a good start.

'Global expansion has always been the group's intention and it is good to see it taking off with a credible partner in tow,' it said.

'In the nearer term, we expect that Wah Seong might be able to replenish their pipe coating order book with jobs they are bidding for in Australia. These include projects like Gladstone, APLNG, Wheatstone and also Ichthys,' it said.

MMCCORP - OSK reiterates 'buy' call on MMC

Stock Name: MMCCORP
Research House: OSK

OSK Research has given a positive outlook for MMC Corporation Bhd though it has yet to hog the limelight unlike its sister companies -- Padini Holdings Bhd and DRB-Hicom Bhd.

Among the possible upsides are MMC-owned Malakoff Bhd securing the 1,000MW extension to Tanjung Bin and MMC/Gamuda joint venture securing the tunnelling portion of the KL Mass Rapid Transit project, it said.

"So, it's a matter of time before MMC, a crown jewel of business tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, be back on the investors' radar screen," it said in a statement.

DRB-Hicom recently grabbed the headlines when it clinched the bid to buy 32 per cent stake in postal services provider, Pos Malaysia Bhd, from Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the government's investment arm.

Syed Mokhtar sold his substantial 28 per cent stake in Padini Holdings.

The research house also said there were possibilities of MMC securing the proposed East-West Railway project and resurgent newsflow at Iskandar Malaysia where MMC was the second largest private land bank owner.

Hence, OSK said, it was reiterating the "Buy" call on MMC shares with a fair value of RM3.62. At 11.55am, MMC shares were up three sen to RM2.65. -- Bernama

Bursa Malaysia: Masterskill to venture into business programmes with Newcastle

KUALA LUMPUR: Masterskill Education Group Bhd (MEGB) is venturing into the provision of undergraduate business programmes in a tie-up with The University of Newcastle.

MEGB said on Wednesday, April 27 the proposal covered the bachelor of business and bachelor of commerce programmes.

It said under the arrangement, students who had successfully completed Part One of the programme at Masterskill, Newcastle will give one year (80 units) advanced standing into Part Two of the programmes.

'This agreement is in line with Masterskill's planning for its diversification into other fields of education,' said the company.

MEGB is principally involved in the provision of education in nursing and allied health sciences in the healthcare industry.

MEGB said it would market the programmes in Indonesia and Malaysia and be responsible for advertising. It would also be responsible for all local programme administration and organise student enrolments.

Kencana a top pick for OSK Research in Oil & Gas Sector

Kencana Petroleum Bhd remains a top pick for OSK Research in the oil and gas sector due to its delivery track record.

The research house has maintained a trading "buy" for Kencana with the target unchanged at RM3.05.

"We believe another re-rating of its share price will happen
sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, when there is more guidance from management on the potential contribution from the Berantai marginal field," said OSK Research said in its research note today.

Yesterday, the company announced that its 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Kencana HL SB, has secured a contract from Kebabangan Petroleum Operating Company SB for the fabrication of Kebabangan substructure for Kebabangan Northern Hub Development Project.

"We had expected Kencana to win at least a portion of it given the company’s delivery track record and available yard space.

"We understand that Kencana’s utilisation rate had recently
increased to about 60 per cent but there is still ample room to take on more jobs," OSK Research added.

OSK Research said Kencana's order book should increase to about RM2.4 billion and this is expected to keep the company busy for the next two years. Meanwhile, Kencana’s tender book was about RM5.0 billion. -- Bernama

AirAsia to pay maiden dividend of 3 sen

AirAsia Bhd, Southeast Asia’s biggest budget airline, will pay an inaugural dividend of 3 sen per share for its 2010 financial year, according to a Kuala Lumpur stock exchange filing today. This will be its first dividend payout since listing in 2004. -- Bloomberg

Read more: AirAsia to pay maiden dividend of 3 sen

Malaysia Ringgit may hit 2.93 per US$ soon

PUTRAJAYA: The ringgit is expected to continue its rally to greater heights in the near term, and towards 2.97 per US dollar in a month, before hitting 2.93 against the dollar in three to six months.
“The estimation is based on our recent exercise on the econometric modelling of the local currency,” AmResearch senior economist Manokaran Mottain told Bernama when asked on ringgit's performance yesterday.
Overall however, he said any rally might be subjected to some profit-taking activities in the long term, and this would see the unit weakening to around 2.97 by the end of this year.
Manokaran Mottain ... ‘We think this (inflation rate) is tolerable level for the authorities.’
Apart from an anticipated weakening of the dollar on expectations of continued monetary easing, speculations of a potential increase in the overnight policy rates (OPR) domestically pushed the unit to a 13-year high of 2.99 against the greenback yesterday, he said.
Manokaran said Monday's performance of the ringgit was its highest for the year, having strengthened by 0.45% and with gains of nearly 2.4% against the greenback.
The economist said the stronger ringgit was also mainly due to the increased speculation that the recent rise in inflation would pressure policy makers to raise interest rates or tolerate further currency appreciation.
Malaysia's inflation rate accelerated to a 23-month high of 3% in March compared with March last year. It was at 2.9% in February. “We think this is tolerable level for the authorities,” he, however said.
He added that month-on-month prices rose only 0.1% in March versus 0.5% in February and 0.6% in January.
Manokaran also highlighted that “speculators think that the three equal 25 basis points (bps) hikes in interest rates by Bank Negara since March last year has grouped Malaysia among countries that were the first to tighten monetary policy.”
Malaysia's OPR stands at 2.75% currently, while the US Federal Reserve has kept interest rates in a range of between zero and 0.25% since December 2008. “This has led to a widening interest rate differential in favour of Malaysia, thus making the latter even more attractive to excess dollars,” Manokaran said. “The interest rate spread between the two countries which currently stands at a high of 250 bps seems another pull factor for speculative buying of the ringgit in recent weeks,” he said.
Ironically, short-term capitals or “hot money”, which has been driving up the ringgit over the past few months, may not remain in the country for a longer period of time, he added.
On Bank Negara's intervention, Manokaran said it might allow gradual appreciation of the ringgit to tackle inflation. “Like in the rest of Asia, we believe a certain degree of intervention may have been taking place to support the currency at current levels, in order to manage the increasing capital flows.”
However, on the back of the recent rise in inflation rate, “we reckon the central bank would allow a certain degree of appreciation in the short term, with the aim to reduce imported inflation.” - Bernama

Malaysia Auto Sector: UOB Kay Hian Research maintains Market Weight

KUALA LUMPUR: UOB Kay Hian Research is maintaining its MARKET WEIGHT rating for the Malaysian automobile sector while its checks showed that Toyota and Nissan sales are least affected.

It said on Wednesday, April 27 that UMW Holdings may have Toyota inventories lasting until Sept 11.

'In its latest guidance, UMW is still targeting an aggressive 90,000 units of sales this year, which is only 5% below our current forecast. This could result in minimal 3% reduction in our 2011F forecast net profit,' it said.

UOB Kay Hian said UMW's 38% associate, Perodua could be among the more affected, with inventories lasting till only June 2011.

'Due to the varying degree of impact between UMW's consolidated vehicle division and Perodua, we have presented two separate scenarios for UMW below. Proton was lucky to have received a shipment that left Japan just before the earthquake struck, and should be insulated until July to August 2011,' it said.

The research house said it checks also indicate that car companies are stretching out their delivery over a longer period in order to manage customer expectations.

'We do not rule out the possibility of car makers going into overtime production to catch up on orders, and some 2011 bookings getting pushed into 2012 delivery,' it said.

MEGB likely to stage short rebound

SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia rebounded from their intra-day lows yesterday. Its declining counters outpaced its advancing counters by 458 to 287.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) rebounded from its intra-day low of 1,520.49 to its intra-day high of 1,527.56 yesterday. It closed at 1,527.34 points, giving a day-on-day gain of 3.29 points, or 0.22 per cent.

Masterskill Education Group Bhd (MEGB) price trended higher to close at RM2.17, giving a day-on-day gain of 8 sen, or 3.83 per cent.

Chartwise, MEGB's daily price trend fell from its recent high of RM2.47 on April 7, to its intra-day low of RM2.08 on Monday, posting a total loss of 39 sen, or 15.79 per cent.

Its 60-minute price trend staged a technical breakout of its intermediate-term downtrend (B1:B2) yesterday and continued to stay above it.

Its 60-minutre fast MACD (moving average convergence divergence) continued to stay below its 60-minute slow MACD yesterday.

Both of its 60-minute fast and slow MACDs continued to stay above their respective neutral reference lines.

MEGB's 60-minute price trend is likely to stage a short and brief rebound above its intermediate-term downtrend.

The subject expressed above is based on technical analysis and opinions of the writer. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell.

Bankrupt stars: Athletes who lost it all

In 2008, the NBA Players’ Association claimed that 60 percent of pro basketball players go broke within five years of retirement. It’s not hard to see why. In the annals of “easy come, easy go,” few people see it come and go like professional athletes.
While it’s true that many take their salaries and invest them in sensible and enduring business ventures, many others squander their multimillion-dollar salaries on expensive cars, jewelry and mansions, and when the checks stop coming in, they have little to show for it.
Basketball player Latrell Sprewell first made headlines during his tenure with the Golden State Warriors. During a 1997 practice, he choked his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, and earned a 68-game suspension. Sprewell still went on to a substantial career, earning almost $100 million.

Click here for more bankrupt athletes
Slideshow: Broke sports stars
It all came to an end when he turned down a three-year contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves worth $30 million. According to Sprewell, this was simply not enough money. He said, “I have a family to feed … [team owner Glen Taylor] better cough up some money. Otherwise, you’re going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon.” (Sprewell was referencing ChildFund International commercials, which provided sponsorship to deprived children around the world.)
The Timberwolves’ upper management, unmoved by his family’s tragic situation, didn’t offer him one more cent, and by the end of the 2005 season, he was unemployed. By 2007, his yacht, “Milwaukee’s Best,” had been repossessed by federal marshals after missed payments and insurance worth over $1 million. In 2008, he defaulted on the mortgage on his Milwaukee home, sending it into foreclosure. His Westchester mansion went into foreclosure two years later.
For a while, no boxer on earth was as feared as “Iron Mike” Tyson. The powerful puncher won his first 19 professional fights by knockout, some of which took place during the first round. He quickly became the heavyweight champion of the world, but in 1992 he was convicted of sexual assault and served three years in prison. When he got out, no amount of comeback matches could get him back his mojo, and after biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a 1997 fight, Tyson was disqualified. He never again won another championship.
Money shouldn’t have been a problem for Tyson. After all, according to the New York Times, he had earned more than $400 million in his boxing career. However, he had spent almost all of it, frittering it away on extravagances like mansions, luxury cars and pet tigers. He also owed $9 million for his divorce settlement and $13 million to the IRS. When he filed for bankruptcy in 2003, he claimed debts of $27 million.
Click ahead to see more of the pro athletes who had it all and lost it all.
The list:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Malaysia taking steps to reduce broadband rates

 A new consortium, Konsortium Rangkaian Serantau Sdn Bhd under the Entry Point Projects (EPPs), has been set up to buy international bandwidth for Internet traffic to lower the costs of Internet protocol (IP) transit, according to Information, Communication andCulture Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim.
The announcement confirmed a StarBiz report on March 23 that a consortium was being set up to buy international bandwidth for Internet traffic in bulk in a bid to reduce IP transit cost.
StarBiz reported that the consortium may build and own an undersea cable network or partner other cable networks for capacity in a private-public partnership to address the problem of high IP transit cost.
The reduction of IP transit cost is part of the “extend the regional reach” initiative under the Economic Transformation Plan. IP transit cost is the cost service providers pay to carry Internet traffic around the world but because most sites are hosted in the United States, traffic volumes to the US are high.
The consortium comprises 24 members including Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM)Time Dotcom BhdMaxis BhdCelcom Axiata BhdDiGi.Com Bhd,U Mobile Sdn BhdGreen PacketYTL Communications Sdn Bhd,RedTone International Bhd, OCE, Fibrerail Sdn Bhd, Jaring, Sacofa, Sarawak Information Systems, Fibrecomm Networks (M) Sdn Bhd, and V Telecoms.
Fiberail and Fibrecomm are subsidiaries of TM.
“The main objective in setting up the consortium is to lower the broadband subscription cost for users through cost savings as the subscription cost of international bandwidth capacity accounts for 40% of the total cost of providing broadband services.
“To achieve the cost savings, the consortium will buy the capacity in bulk as well as plan and manage the international submarine cable on behalf of its members,” Rais said at a briefing to announce three all-new EPPs under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) Communications Content and Infrastructure (CCI) yesterday.
The other two projects announced are the tracking and tracing of swiftlet nests using radio frequency identification technology and the enhancement of basic infrastructure in rural areas.
From left: Time dotCom Bhd CEO Afzal Abdul Rahim, National Key Economic Area, Communications Content and Infrastructure (CCI) director Dr Fadhullah Suhaimi Abdul Malel, Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin, Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim, Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Tan Sri Khalid Ramli at the signing ceremony.
According to filings with Bursa Malaysia by various service providers, the authorised share capital of the consortium shall be RM10mil divided into 10 million ordinary shares of RM1 each and may be increased from time to time in accordance with the memorandum and articles of association of the consortium.
The initial issued and paid-up share capital of the consortium is RM240,000 comprising 240,000 ordinary shares of RM1 each, of which each party holds an equivalent of 10,000 shares of RM1 each issued at par value in the consortium.
The parties have also agreed to commit an additional capital contribution in cash of RM40,000 each by subscribing to 40,000 ordinary shares of RM1 each, at such later time as may be determined by the consortium's board of directors.
Although broadband subscription costs are expected to be lower, Rais expects the service level would continue to be improved at the same time.
To a question, he said that given the number of parties involved in the consortium, the cost should naturally come down. However, he did not have a specific time when the lower subscription cost for broadband would come into effect.
“I cannot tell you now when the real results will be seen and the CCI will be closely monitoring this,” Rais said, adding that the project did not involve public funds as it was a private sector initiative.
DiGi said its participation in the consortium would enable additional IP transit and domestic bandwidth capacity to be available in Malaysia at a lower cost.
“This will consequently benefit consumers in terms of price and experience for Internet and broadband services,” it said.
Maxis said the consortium would enable all its members to enjoy lower bandwidth cost due to bulk purchase and economies of scale.
TM said its participation together with its subsidiaries in the consortium was in support of the Government's initiative under the Economic Transformation Programme, which would enable additional bandwidth capacity for Malaysia in anticipation of increasing demand requirements at lower costs.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Forbes List of World Top Billionaires 2011

Forbes list of billionaires (2011)

The following list is Forbes ranking of an assessment of the wealth and assets of the world's billionaires as of March 10, 2011, and does not reflect changes since then. There are 1,210 names in this year’s list.[2]
steadyHas not changed from the list for 2010.
increaseHas increased from the list for 2010.
decreaseHas decreased from the list for 2010.
No.↓Name↓Net worth (USD)↓Age↓Citizenship↓Residence↓Sources of wealth↓
1steadyCarlos Slim Helú and family$74.0 billion increase71 Mexico MexicoTelmexAmérica MóvilGrupo Carso
2steadyBill Gates$56.0 billion increase55 United States United StatesMicrosoft
3steadyWarren Buffett$50.0 billion increase80 United States United StatesBerkshire Hathaway
4increaseBernard Arnault$41.0 billion increase62 France FranceLVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton
5increaseLawrence Ellison$39.5 billion increase66 United States United StatesOracle Corporation
6decreaseLakshmi Mittal$31.1 billion increase60 India United KingdomArcelor Mittal
7increaseAmancio Ortega$31.0 billion increase74 Spain SpainInditex Group
8steadyEike Batista$30.0 billion increase53 Brazil BrazilEBX Group
9decreaseMukesh Ambani$27.0 billion increase53 India IndiaReliance Industries
10increaseChristy Walton$26.5 billion increase55 United States United StatesWalmart
11increaseLi Ka-shing$26.0 billion increase82 Hong Kong Hong KongCheung Kong Holdings
12decreaseKarl Albrecht$25.5 billion increase91 Germany GermanyAldi Süd
13steadyStefan Persson$24.5 billion increase63 Sweden SwedenHennes & Mauritz
14increaseVladimir Lisin$24.0 billion increase54 Russia RussiaNovolipetsk Steel
15increaseLiliane Bettencourt$23.5 billion increase88 France FranceL'Oréal
16increaseSheldon Adelson$23.3 billion increase77 United States United StatesLas Vegas Sands
17increaseDavid Thomson and family$23 billion increase53 Canada CanadaThomson Reuters
18increaseCharles G. Koch$22 billion increase75 United States United StatesKoch Industries
18increaseDavid H. Koch$22 billion increase70 United States United StatesKoch Industries
20decreaseJim Walton$21.3 billion increase63 United States United StatesWalmart